Vernon Vortex skaters, from left, Laura Hall, Daniel Hall and Nate Benn have qualified for the B.C. Winter Games. (Photo Submitted)

Vortex skaters rule Fort St. John

The Vernon Vortex rack up medals in provincials

Three members of the Vernon Vortex Speed Skating Club took medals st the BC Long Track Championships in Fort St John last weekend.

Despite not having access to long track ice, the Vortex sparkled with Laura Hall placing second overall off the strength of her 3,000-metre event .

She took the lead from the start, setting a pace designed to inflict some hurt on the pack, to take the finishing sprint out of the athletes more inclined to a sprint finish.

The strategy worked well with Hall pulling away from the field in the final 400-m as Lauras endurance outlasted the pack.

Daniel Hall also finished second overall with a strong performance in his 3,000 event but having to come from behind in the final event, the 1,500, to secure his medal.

Daniel skated a tactically strong race, setting a fast pace then allowing others to do some work so that he could really pour it on in the final lap.

Nate Benn defended his championship performance from last year, returning home as the B.C. champion in his age division.

Unlike the others in the competition from Vernon, Nate relied on dominating performances in the sprint events, easily winning the 300 and 500 events by impressive margins, exploding off the line away from the competition and finishing a close second in the 1500m and 3000m events with some great, gutsy efforts.

All three skaters have qualified for the B.C. Winter Games, Feb. 22-25, in Kamloops.

Next up for the Vortex team is the Coyote Cup short track meet in Kamloops.

The Vortex carry sponsorship from Sproing Creative, Manulife Financial, Mackenzie Financial, Interior Savings, and Tolko, all of whom contribute to developing athletes possible.

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